Lab Anim Res.  2011 Jun;27(2):133-140. 10.5625/lar.2011.27.2.133.

Granulocyte-Derived Cationic Peptide Enhances Homing and Engraftment of Bone Marrow Stem Cells after Transplantation

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Innovative Research Institute for Cell Therapy, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
  • 3Biomedical Research Institute, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Current strategies to accelerate hematopoietic reconstitution after transplantation include transplantation of greater numbers of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs) or ex vivo expansion of harvested HSPCs before transplant. However, the number of cells available for transplantation is usually low, and strategies to expand HSPCs and maintain equivalent engraftment capability ex vivo are limited. We noted that activated granulocyte-derived cationic peptides positively primed responsiveness of HSPCs to a CXCL12 gradient. Accordingly, we noted that accelerated homing/engraftment of beta-defensin-2, a well-known antimicrobial cationic peptide, primed bone marrow nucleated cells (BMNCs) compared to normal BMNCs after transplantation into lethally irradiated recipients. We envision that small cationic peptides, which primarily possess antimicrobial functions and are harmless to mammalian cells, could be applied to prime HSPCs before transplantation. This novel approach would be particularly important in cord blood transplantation, where the number of HSPCs available for transplantation is usually limited.


Cationic peptide; defensin-2; hematopoietic stem cells; transplantation; homing and engraftment

MeSH Terms

Bone Marrow
Fetal Blood
Hematopoietic Stem Cells
Stem Cells
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